[Thomas Trotter, naval physician, reformer and abolitionist.] Autograph Letter Signed ('T. Trotter') to Messrs Todd & Romanes, W.S., Edinburgh solicitors, on the 'basest ingratitude' shown by his kinsman Robert Trotter, R.N., in taking him to court.

Thomas Trotter (c.1760-1832), Scottish naval physician, leading medical reformer in the Royal Navy and critic of the slave trade [Todd & Romanes, W. S., Edinburgh]
Publication details: 
Newcastle; 27 July 1813.
SKU: 21691

The recipients Todd [or Tod] and Romanes, Writers to the Signet, were prominent Edinburgh solicitors, acting for Trotter's kinsman Robert Trotter, R.N., one of the sons of Rev. Robert Trotter (c.1732-1807) of Windyhaugh, 'minister of the dissenting congregation of Morpeth during the long space of 51 years'. 2pp, 4to. Bifolium. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn, with thin strip of paper from mount adhering to the reverse of the second leaf, which is addressed, with postmarks and endorsement signed by 'J. R.' (John Romanes), 'To | Messrs. Todd & Romanes, | Writers to the Signet, | Edinburgh'. Folded four times. The letter begins: 'Gentlemen, | I learn from Mr. Taylor of Melrose, that Mr. Robert Trotter's Agent has been bringing matter of litigation forwards, which has no connection with the point at issue, between Mr. Trotter & me. - He has no claim on my property, but the Heritable Bond £175 One hundred & twenty pounds of this sum, were paid by the sale of part of the premises to W. Riddell Esqr.; and the remainder reduced to somewhere about one hundred including all the Investment, as appears from the statement made out by Mr. Taylor, who was employed for transacting the business of the late Revd. Mr. Trotter, for his concerns.' Trotter describes the 'vouchers' in which the statement 'is deficient'. These were 'paid to the late Mr. D. Brown of Melrose; for the account of Articles supplied, by Mr. Trotter's order, to his father, sister & uncle'. The vouchers were 'transmitted to Morpeth, & must be in his son's (Mr R. Trotter) possession: one of these accounts, to the amount of 30£, or upwards, was transmitted by myself.' Trotter considers that, 'even setting these aside, the balance due on the bond is much about 100£'. It will be apparent, Trotter continues, 'from Mr. R. Trotter's Letter to me, that he offered to give up the Bond for 100£. This sum Mr. Taylor was directed by me to pay him: but he made some objection, & has refused every species of compromise; which may be considered as an instance of the basest ingratitude, for he was brought up in The Navy under me, & obtained his Commission through my interest with Earl Spencer.' Trotter concludes that he 'could wish' the solicitors 'to bring the business to a speed [sic] termination, & what relates to money matters you will be pleased to give due warning to Mr. Taylor, who will be ready to attend you.' From the distinguished autograph collection of the psychiatrist Richard Alfred Hunter (1923-1981), whose collection of 7000 works relating to psychiatry is now in Cambridge University Library. Hunter and his mother Ida Macalpine had a particular interest in the illness of King George III, and their book 'George III and the Mad Business' (1969) suggested the diagnosis of porphyria popularised by Alan Bennett in his play 'The Madness of George III'.